Friday, January 26, 2018

Pleading While Intoxicated Gets Nebraska Judge Reprimanded

The Nebraska Commission on Judicial Qualifications has publicly reprimanded a judge for his actions in connection with an alleged violation of probation.

The defendant was on probation for reckless driving and was required to abstain from alcohol.

When a hearing was scheduled for alleged drinking, the case was called but the defendant was not in the courtroom. A person identified as the defendant's aunt told the judge that he was "passed out in the car" after drinking all night and had "downed a bottle of tequila" and that she (the aunt) was unable to get him to the courtroom.

Fifteen minutes later, the defendant was "brought into the courtroom in a wheelchair" and the case was recalled.

The judge took a guilty plea to the probation violation and had the defendant taken into custody where he tested a .4 blood alcohol content.

The judge knew or should have known that he was "probably too intoxicated" to enter a knowing and voluntary plea. 

When the news reported the actions, the judge permitted the defendant to withdraw the plea and vacate the sentence.

That offer was declined. (Mike Frisch)

Judicial Ethics and the Courts | Permalink


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